§ 3. Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how water workers' pay has compared with that of local authority manual workers over the past 10 years.
§ Mr. Marlow
As there is no earthly reason why the pay of water workers should be compared with that of power workers, local authority manual workers, or even their probably harder working, less well paid and certainly less secure brothers in manufacturing industry, will my right hon. Friend undertake so to constrain the finances of the water authorities that yesterday's decision can be paid for only through productivity increases?
§ Mr. King
My hon. Friend is correct. He will know that the chairman made no finding in support of 917 comparability with other groups of workers in his statement yesterday. He will also be aware that the vast majority of authorities have now established their water rates for the coming year. Therefore, the only way in which any increases can be paid for is out of productivity, greater efficiency and cost economies.
§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
If the Minister is to make the comparisons that his hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Mr. Marlow) wants, will he also bear in mind that there are about 800 men and women receiving 10 and 12 times as much in tax free expenses in another place as are hon. Members here?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. There will be a statement at the end of Question Time on the broader issues of the water dispute.